January 4th
Today I decided to be motivated before I went fishing.  I got up at 0500, it was still dark out.  Joel wanted to stay sleeping so I went.  I got outside and there were dogs outside.  I started out and one by one the dogs barked.  There was no one else out in the village.  I got to the rice fields and I was ambushed.  At least 5 dogs came out and chased me.  I ran back to my homestay so fast.  I have never been so terrified.  I love dogs and they turned on me.  There I was, a one man wolf pack running through the streets of Pha Chan searching for rice and fish.  But then I ran into a 50 dog pack and they did not like me.  For the rest of the day I felt like they were following and stalking me.  I met up with Gina and we went fishing with Louie.  We caught three fish and learned that fish is “blah,” big fish is “blah yai,” and the type of fish caught was “plaatoon.”  It was amazing to go fishing.  It was the best way to really experience the culture of the village.  Louie was awesome.  He led us to his boat across a rickety ladder.  After fishing we immediately went to alms with the monks.  It was a humbling experience.  Monks do not cook for themselves and the villagers give respect to the monks by giving them food.  For our group I brought the wishing water to the tree.  It is really interesting comparing Buddahism to Christianity.  So far being in the Thai culture, I have actually realized what American culture is.  It might not seem like much of a culture, but I do like the American culture.  The rest of the day we worked on the architecture project.  We went through the programming process with the villagers.  Even though there was a communication barrier, we were able to tell them what we needed to know to be able to design a builing for them.  One thing that I have enjoyed is the food.  Everyone said I’d be sick of it by know, but I don’t think I’ll be sick of it anytime soon.  My homestay family is interesting.  We don’t talk much.  You can tell they want to, but it is difficult.  Paa Tom (Father Tom) is our Pa.  He’s awesome.  Everything else is going really well and I look forward to each day.


-Jon Schoepf


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